Houston Car Accident Lawyer Advocating For Victims in Texas
Helping you obtain the compensation you deserve for your car crash injuries
A car accident can change your life forever, and for Texans, these accidents have become all too common. If you’re involved in a crash, it is essential that you hire an experienced attorney with the skills and knowledge to represent you in your accident claim. Cire Law Firm in Houston has helped victims of car crashes for 30 years. No car wreck is too minor or too catastrophic for us to take on, and we provide solid, unyielding representation. We thoroughly review your case and candidly advise you of the value of your claim. We help you understand the next steps you need to take to seek the maximum possible compensation.
Common car accident injuries
Personal injuries that result from a car crash can range from minor to severe or even fatal. Some of the most common car accident injuries include:
- Brain and head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Facial injuries
- Internal injuries
After an accident, it is essential that you see a doctor to ensure that your injuries are properly identified and treated.
Distraction is a leading cause of accidents in the Houston area
In a major metropolitan area such as Houston, drivers need to be vigilant. Lapses in concentration can easily lead to car accidents. Unfortunately, some drivers behave as though there is no pressing need for caution. The types of behavior that distract motorists most often include:
- Adjusting the sound system
- Applying makeup
- Using a cellphone to talk, text or email
- Changing clothes
- Eating and drinking
- Inputting GPS data
- Interacting with passengers
- Reaching for something
Evidence of distracted driving helps the court determine who is at fault in a car wreck. We subpoena phone records and social media accounts to find proof that the defendant was engaged in something other than driving at the time of your accident.
Texas auto accidents and cellphone law
According to the Texas DOT, distracted driving crashes in the state are highest among young adults between 16 and 24, followed by adults over the age of 44. In 2015, there were 476 people killed in crashes that involved distracted driving. Texas does not ban motorists from texting while driving or using a cellphone, but certain municipalities, including Austin and San Antonio, have banned texting behind the wheel. Statewide, drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using wireless communication devices, and those with learning permits cannot use handheld cellphones during their first six months of driving. Texas also forbids drivers from using handheld cell phones on school property.
What to do after a car accident in Houston
Although an accident is likely to take you by surprise, having a plan in place can help you act decisively and appropriately. After your wreck, you should:
- Get medical care immediately, even if you believe you are not injured.
- Notify police so they can investigate and make a report of the wreck.
- Be courteous and cooperative, but do not admit fault.
- Take photographs of the accident scene and vehicles involved in the crash.
- Write down important notes about the other driver’s demeanor and conversations, especially if you suspect that the person was drunk or distracted at the time of the collision.
- Exchange insurance information with the other driver.
- Contact your insurance company as soon as you can.
- Consult with a qualified car accident lawyer about pursuing damages in your case.
Do I need a lawyer after a car accident?
Accurately determining fault for you accident is crucial. Texas follows the doctrine of comparative fault, also called “proportionate responsibility.” This means that more than one person can be at fault for an accident, and you can still obtain damages for your injuries even if you are partially at fault. Our state uses a “51 percent Bar Rule,” meaning that you must be less than 50 percent at fault to recover damages for your injuries. If you are found to be 51 percent or more at fault, you cannot recover any damages.
In addition, your compensation is reduced by the percentage you are to blame. For example, if you are found to be 20 percent at fault, your damage reward will be reduced by 20 percent. You may also jeopardize the payments otherwise owed to you through your uninsured motorist policy if you are found responsible for the accident.
An experienced attorney at our firm can further explain the proportionate responsibility rule and help you determine if can receive compensation after a car wreck.
Dealing with uninsured and underinsured drivers in Texas
Many accident victims face a dilemma when they find the driver who hit them has no insurance or insufficient coverage. Texas requires all drivers to carry auto insurance with minimum liability limits of:
- $30,000 for each injured person per accident
- $60,000 for all injured people in a single accident
- $25,000 for property damage in the accident
But these levels may not be enough to pay for a serious accident. The driver who causes an accident can be held personally responsible for amounts exceeding the mandated coverage, but uninsured drivers rarely have assets that can cover damages, forcing the victim to rely on his own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. However, filing this kind of claim puts the victim in an adversarial relationship with his own insurance company. When you get into a car accident, you have a right to reasonably expect your insurance company to abide by its end of the deal. We demand that your insurance company respect your contract and reimburse you for your damages.
How the state’s comparative fault law impacts injured pedestrians
There were 550 pedestrian fatalities in Texas in 2015, a 12.7% increase from the previous year, and that increase follows a nationwide trend. A study released by the Governors Highway Safety Association may offer one reason for the rise in pedestrian deaths: lifestyle changes that have created greater distractions for drivers and pedestrians. Many people text while walking and also listen to music that distracts them from sounds in the environment that would otherwise alert them to traffic dangers. With this knowledge, juries may be more willing to place blame on the pedestrian in an injury suit. Texas’ comparative negligence law holds pedestrians to the same standard as it does motorists, reducing an injured pedestrian’s recovery in proportion to their fault. If the pedestrian is found to be 51 percent or more at fault, he cannot recover any compensation. Without a skilled personal injury attorney at your side, you may have your recovery reduced due to comparative fault or barred altogether by the 51 percent rule.
Contact our Houston car accident lawyer for your free initial consultation
To recover compensation after your Houston car crash, call Cire Law Firm at 713.532.6206 or contact us online to schedule your free initial consultation. Our nearby litigation firm is in the Galleria area just off the 610 Loop, convenient for clients in Houston as well as Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery and Jefferson counties. We handle your case on a contingency fee basis, meaning we do not charge you attorney fees unless we recover damages for you. We are available 24/7 and can visit you at your home or the hospital if your injury prevents you from coming to our office.